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But when he came to Barnesdale,
Great heavinesse there hee hadd,
Were slaine both in a slade.
Faste over stocke and stone,
Fast after him is gone.
“ With Christ his might and mayne; Ile make yond fellow that flyes soe fast,
To stopp he shall be fayne.”
And fetteled him to shoote :
And fell down to his foote.
That ere thou grew on a tree; For now this day thou art my bale,
My boote when thou shold bee." His shoote it was but loosely shott,
Yet flewe not the arrowe in vaine,
Good William a Trent was slaine.
To have bene abed with sorrowe,
To meet with Little Johns arrowe.
Fyve can doe more than three, The sheriffe hath taken Little John,
And bound him fast to a tree. “Thou shalt be drawen by dale and downe,
And hanged hye on a hill;”. “But thou mayst fayle of thy purpose," quoth John,
“ If itt be Christ his will."
Lett us leave talking of Little John,
And thinke of Robin Hood,
Where under the leaves he stood. “Good morrowe, good fellowe," sayd Robin so fayre,
“Good morrowe, good fellow," quoth he. “ Methinks by this bowe thou beares in thy hande, 95
A good archere thou sholdst bee." “I am wilfulle of my waye," quo' the yeman,
“ And of my morning tyde :” “ Ile lead thee through the wood,” sayd Robin, “Good fellow, Ile be thy guide.”
100 “I seeke an outlàwe,” the straunger sayd,
“Men call him Robin Hood; Rather Ild meet with that proud outlàwe
Than fortye pound soe good.” “Now come with me, thou wight yemàn,
105 And Robin thou soone shalt see; But first let us some pastime find
Under the greenwood tree. “ First let us some masterye make Among the woods so even;
110 We may chance to meet with Robin Hood
Here att some unsett steven.”
That grew both under a breere,
115 To shoote the prickes y-fere. “ Leade on, good fellowe,” quoth Robin Hood,
« Leade on, I doe bidd thee.” “ Nay, by my faith, good fellowe,” hee sayd, “My leader thou shalt bee.”
120 The first time Robin shot at the pricke,
He mist but an inch it fro;
But he cold never shoote soe.
The second shoote had the wightye yemàn,
He shote within the garlànde;
For he clave the good pricke-wande.
"Good fellowe, thy shooting is goode;
Thou wert better then Robin Hoode.
“ Under the leaves of lyne."
“ Till thou have told me thine."
“ And Robin to take Ime sworne ;
I am Guy of good Gisbòrne.”
“By thee I set right nought:
Whom thou so long hast sought.”
Might have seen a full fayre sight,
With blades both browneo and bright:
• The common epithet for a sword or other offensive weapon, in the old metrical romances, is brown: as “brown brand,” or “brown sword: brown bill," &c., and sometimes even “ bright brown sword.” Chaucer applies the word rustie in the same sense; thus he describes the Reve; “And by his side he bare a rustie blade.”
Prol. ver. 620. And even thus the god Mars : “And in his hand he had a rousty sword.”
Test. of Cressid. 188.
Spenser has sometimes used the same epithet: see Warton's Observ. vol. ii. p. 62. It should seem from this particularity, that our ancestors did not pique themselves upon keeping their weapons bright: perhaps they deemed it more honourable to carry them stained with the blood of their enemies.
To see how these yeomen together they fought
Two howres of a summers day, Yett neither Robin Hood nor Sir Guy
Them fettled to flye away.
And stumbled at that tyde;
And hitt him ore the left side.
“ Thou art but mother and may'; I think it was never mans destinye
To dye before his day."
And soone leapt up againe,
And he Sir Guy hath slayne.
And stuck itt upon his bowes end :
Which thing must have an end." Robin pulled forth an Irish kniffe,
And nicked Sir Guy in the face,
Cold tell whose head it was.
And with me be not wrothe;
Thou shalt have the better clothe.”
And on Sir Guy did throwe, And hee put on that capull hyde,
That cladd him topp to toe. “ The bowe, the arrowes, and litle horne,
Now with me I will beare; For I will away to Barnèsdale, To see how my men doe fare."
Ver. 163, awkwarde, MS.
Robin Hood sett Guys horne to his mouth,
And a loud blast in it did blow:
As he leaned under a lowe.
“I heare nowe tydings good, For yonder I heare Sir Guys horne blowe,
And he hath slaine Robin Hoode.
Itt blowes soe well in tyde,
Cladd in his capull hyde.
Aske what thou wilt of mee.” “O I will none of thy gold,” sayd Robin,
“Nor I will none of thy fee. “But now I have slaine the master,” he sayes,
“Let me goe strike the knave; For this is all the rewarde I aske,
Nor noe other will I have.” “ Thou art a madman,” said the sheriffe,
“ Thou sholdst have had a knightes fee; But seeing thy asking hath beene soe bad,
Well granted it shale be.”
Well knewe he it was his steven;
“ With Christ his might in heaven.” Fast Robin hee hyed him to Little John,
He thought to loose him belive: The sheriffe and all his companye
Fast after him can drive. “ Stand abacke, stand abacke,” sayd Robin;
“Why draw you mee so neere? Itt was never the use in our countryè,
Ones shrift another shold heere.”